Purdue University says its Office of Industry Partnerships is becoming an economic driver for the state, bringing in potentially more than $100 million annually for the economy. The office interacts with hundreds of companies that have an interest in research partnerships and student recruitment. Vice President Nathan Utz says the office is designed to be the “front door” to industry engagement at Purdue that could benefit the university, students and the region.
Utz discussed how the office works in an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
“We’ve got a really great and deep bench of existing companies that already exist here, but holistic engagement begins with engaging with our great and talent students and our faculty around sponsored research, but then it moves down the line towards commercialization and intellectual property,” said Utz. “Ultimately, it ends with placemaking and economic development. One of [President Mitch Daniels’] top priorities is bringing more companies to Indiana and West Lafayette and that’s a top priority of our office as well.”
Utz says the office’s goal of engaging more businesses could create a major impact for students as well.
“A lot of our kids are going out and taking great jobs around the country and doing great things,” he said.” When you talk about industry engagement, it has to start with the company first and foremost. They are for-profit, so we have to make sure that we are providing an experience that is good for them, but obviously, we’re here to further the mission of Purdue, which is all about the students and the faculty.”
The Office of Industry Partnerships is located the Convergence Center in Purdue’s Discovery Park District. Utz says the location fits in perfectly with the office’s objective.
“We cannot wait for this pandemic to be over because this building is just going to be an amazing ecosystem for industry and for students. We’ve got many academic units planning on moving in here. Our office is here. So, this is quite literally and figuratively the front door for industry engagement here at Purdue University.”